Berlin Philharmonic launches own record label

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra will be launching its own record label, Berliner Phiharmoniker Recordings, it has been announced.

The first recording to be released via the new label will be a complete set of Robert Schumann symphonies, conducted by the orchestra's chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle. It will be available to purchase online via the orchestra itself, and in selected retailers.

The physical release of the Schumann set, scheduled for May 23rd, will be an elaborately packaged affair, featuring extensive liner notes in a linen-bound hardcover edition and 2 CDs.

A Blu-Ray version will also be released in what the orchestra's statement refers to as "audiophile quality". There will also be a limited edition 4LP vinyl set, to be released in August.

A number of digital extras are included, such as download codes and documentary material that takes listeners behind the scenes of the recording.

In a promotional video for the new label, Sir Simon Rattle described the new approach to distribution as symptomatic of the changing demands of audiences: "Hopefully this is really the start of a new wave of orchestra-produced recordings… We now run this. It is our choice."

Future planned releases for the label include the complete Schubert symphonies conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Bach's St John Passion, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.